10 Boulevard Dubouchage, Nice, 06000
- Recommended for:
- Foodies, Special occasions, Trendiness
Best for Trendiness - Expert review of L'Aphrodite
Molecular cooking (à la El Bulli or Heston Blumenthal) has taken a bit of drubbing in recent times, amid clouds of nitrogen and controversy. Here’s the place to restore the faith. The setting is a classic town-house with a garden terrace, the whole renewed and lightened up in early 2010. Within, though, David Faure’s cooking twists and turns away from the orthodox in epic leaps of imagination.
He resists the term “molecular”. Too dry and clinical. His cuisine is “techno-emotional”, he reckons. But it amounts to pretty much the same thing. What looks like a fried egg is mango and coconut. Other dishes are so beautifully and challengingly constructed, they should be hung in a gallery before being eaten.
But if all that sounds just too challenging, the place also does more recognisable dishes, though approached with the same spirit of invention. No wonder Faure received his first Michelin star this year. About time, I’d say.
It’s the 12-course ‘R’-evolution (sic) menu which grabs the attention, with its nitro-dragon vodka (see steam come out of your nose), round liquid pizza (don’t ask) and columns of this and trompe-l’œil of that. Whatever Faure says about techno-emotions, it’s essentially terrific fun – and the tastes are a blast, to boot.
But the food is quite as excellent and interesting across on the more orthodox menus. I’m particularly impressed with a lobster dish, which has lobster meat wrapped in other lobster meat, with squid gnocchi and chicken broth. Think about it and you’ll imagine it works. Eat it and you’ll prove it. And that’s just one dish out of very many – none of which you would have ever, ever thought of at home.
Which, of course, is one of the key reasons for going to a restaurant.
Could be completely up itself, as trail-blazers so often are. But it isn’t. After make-over work in 2010, the place has opened up better both to the kitchen and to the garden outside, where there’s a dining terrace. The restaurant is playful and friendly, in a top-end sort of way.
Slick, skilled and informal.
Central enough, but on a quieter boulevard, where richer folk have their flats and offices.
At 100 euros pp, the ‘R’-evolution menu saps the wallet significantly, the more so that it’s served to the whole table, or not at all. But you’re unlikely ever to have eaten like this before – and it remains cheaper than El Bulli or Blumenthal. The more orthodox menus start at 39 euros, or 25.70 for lunch.
More information on L'Aphrodite:
- Price guide:
- French, Fusion, Mediterranean, Modern
- 10 Boulevard Dubouchage, Nice, 06000
- 04 93 85 63 53
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Tues-Sat 12-1.45pm; 7.30pm-9.30pm. Shut January.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential